A new superspecial stage at Celtic Manor will feature on Wales Rally GB after the schedule for the 2012 running of the event was released by organisers.
The stage will be run on the Saturday evening while the main service area will once again be located in Cardiff.
The event will kick off with a ceremonial start in Llandudno in North Wales on Thursday, 13 September following a Qualifying Stage at Walters Arena the previous day, before the event moves down to the classic Dyfnant, Hafren and Myherin tests on Friday 14th. Following a remote service in Newtown, that loop of stages will be repeated on Friday afternoon.
Saturday takes the event to the Epynt military range, where the stages of Crychan, Epynt and Halfway will be undertaken twice, after which the rally visits Celtic Manor Resort for the first time.
For the final day, Wales Rally GB visits Port Talbot, Rheola and Walters Arena, before returning to those stages again after Cardiff service. The official finish ceremony of the event will take place in Cardiff Bay after the final Power Stage – the second run through Walters Arena.
“In such a pivotal year for Britain and its role as a venue for world-class sport, it's a real privilege to be able to take Wales Rally GB to Celtic Manor Resort this year, as well as continue last year's initiative of delivering a truly pan-Welsh route,” Wales Rally GB chief executive Andrew Coe said. “We made huge strides forward last year in terms of embracing the whole of Wales with our route and we have tried hard to build on that this year, while also bringing more innovation and fresh-thinking to the event.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed the return of the event, which is supported by Welsh Government funding of £1.4 million.
“Wales Rally GB has the ability to engage with many communities during its week long journey from North to South Wales,” he said. “It is a world class sporting event that will deliver a wide range of benefits and provide a welcome boost for retailers, hotels and tourism operators. The rally is an ideal platform for Wales, showing a global audience what we have to offer."